Why I Don’t Recommend Dating Or Marrying A Pro-Choice Person

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Being a pastor of a church that has young adults coming into it continually, I have the great honor of being asked to officiate weddings frequently. However, I myself do not make it to the wedding altar with them.

Here’s how it usually goes: A couple starts dating, falls in love, gets engaged and part of planning their wedding is to find a pastor to marry them. But they need to find a church first in order to find a pastor. They think that finding a pastor is like finding a DJ or finding a photographer or finding a caterer – something to check off. They think, Okay, we found a dude to marry us, onto the next item

So they come to our church, listen to one of my messages, like what they hear or how they feel and then they reach out to me to officiate their wedding so they can check that part off their to-do list. 

When they sit down with me, they are very surprised at the process I go through.

I sit down with the couple initially to find out about their faith and love for Jesus. We walk through their testimony. We walk through their spiritual background. We walk through how they view the Bible. We walk through their physical contact and sexual activity. We walk through their view of marital roles and their goals in the relationship. We walk through money and children and communication and conflict. 

That’s just the first session. We don’t talk about how they met or what they love about the other or how the wedding plans are going. That can come later. Those are easy questions to answer. Session one is about who really has their heart. 

If desired, I meet with them 3-4 more times for pre-marital counseling and then have the couple over to my home for dinner with my family where they can meet my wife, so, after the honeymoon feelings of romance fade and the reality of marriage hits them, the groom can reach out to me and the bride can reach out to my wife. 

This past summer a couple came to the church I serve, reached out to me to officiate their wedding and I happily scheduled a meeting with them. 

After session one with me I gave the advice that they should reconsider being engaged at this point, that they should slow the relationship down, and here’s why: 

She was a Jesus-follower and was pro-life. 
He was indifferent about Jesus (which meant he was against Him) and was pro-choice. 

Pro-life/pro-choice might not seem like such a big deal to pause a relationship over, but their opinion on pro-life/pro-choice was an outflowing belief of where their identity and faith were at. 

While the couple wasn’t happy with me, and while they haven’t been back to the loving church I’m a part of, it got me thinking on reasons as a parent I will encourage my children to date someone who is pro-life. 

It’s not enough for an engaged person to say their boyfriend/girlfriend is fine if they go to church or owns a Bible or calls themselves a Christian. Specific beliefs and values need to be talked through because what Jesus says and what each person in the relationship says can have long-term, harmful ramifications. 

While in marriage compromise is a beautiful, selfless result when there’s a conflict with differing views, in the pro-life and pro-choice debate, there is not a third, comprising option (which, it’s astounding that 39% of Americans don’t take a firm stance on pro-life or pro-choice. We’re not even thinking about this issue). 

For all the pro-life singles who love Jesus, if one of my children told me they were wanting to pursue a serious relationship with someone who is pro-choice, here’s why I would caution against it:

  1. The authority in your life is Jesus Christ and Scripture. The authority in their life is their opinion. On each topic of conversation, you’ll go to the Bible and they’ll go to their heart and many times it could be far apart. Your truth will never change, theirs will.

  2. You hold onto the truth in Scripture that human life is above/superior to the animal kingdom. You align yourself with God’s view that humans have a soul and a conscious, that humans are created in the image of God. A pro-choice person doesn’t hold those beliefs.

  3. Hypothetically, if the unborn child you are carrying ends up having a serious form of birth defect or a health/physical/mental complication, the conclusion of going through the pregnancy with your differing spouse could be a conversation about life or death. 
  1. Hypothetically, if a future pregnancy becomes a reality during a circumstantially difficult time in the marriage (loss of job, emotional instability, lots of debt), there could be pressure from your spouse to end the life of the child. Both #3 and #4 have enormous and maybe even irreconcilable results. 
  1. If the person you are dating/engaged to doesn’t think about children in the womb biblically, it’s a good bet that they will not have a biblical lens when it comes to raising godly children either.
  1. Jesus tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25). The hot topic of pro-life and pro choice is more serious than him liking Michigan football and her liking Ohio State or him liking hip hop music and her liking country music. This issue brings division (the word division literally means two separate visions). The marriage is supposed to be “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). One name. One bed. One bank account. One home. One vision for the family. One authority (Bible). One Jesus. No division. 
  1. While doable, it is a daily, relational hardship serving someone who disagrees with God on the sanctity of human life. 

Thanks for reading and for taking dating seriously! You are loved. 

Z

[For further reading on abortion, check out my blog here

The Three Types of Marriages

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When a romantic relationship is starting out, what gets things going are fun dates and making memories combined with butterflies of infatuation. 

If the dating relationship leads to an eventual marriage, fun dates and making memories take a back seat to working a job, stressing over bills, running errands daily, tending to kids constantly and trying to not be taken down by the constant piles of laundry

The norm of many marriages is that dating fades away when marriage begins. 

I’m under the conviction that dating can become evenbetter after marriage begins. 

(To clarify, I’m not talking about dating like a fancy night out with your spouse. Dating is pursuing the love of your life each day, getting to know them, learning to serve them).

As a Christian I’m also under the firm conviction that God is the one who infuses a marriage to be the amazing relationship it’s intended to be. 

God can make your heart full of joy even when there is disappoint in the marriage. 

God can give you discernment even when there is confusion in the marriage. 

God can give you a grateful heart that finds something in the marriage to be thankful for when there is complaining and arguing. 

Our culture is full of people whose lives seem plentiful when in reality there is so much lacking.

They have money, possessions, basic needs more than met, trips, hobbies and countless friends on social media. 

What they are lacking is a quality relationship of love, unity and peace – a relationship best found in Jesus first and a spouse second. 

Each spouse should examine where they are at in one of the three types of marriages: 

(1) A Shoulder-to-Shoulder Marriage

In a shoulder-to-shoulder marriage, the couple looks together. In fact, they accomplish much (individually). They have an outlook on the world that is ambitious and they get a lot done. 

The problem is, while they are getting a lot done (at work, with the kids, with a hobby, serving in the church), they aren’t soulmates living life together. They’re roommates living life apart. 

A shoulder-to-shoulder relationship shows the person you’re with that you care more about where your day is headed personally than where your relationship is headed together. 

This type of relationship is selfish. 

(2) A Back-to-Back Marriage

This is when the marriage reaches a dry season of either arguing frequently over a deep-seated issue or even more serious where there is little hope going forward. 

Instead of dealing with the issue face-on together and admitting fault humbly with a strong will and accountable plan to improve, the main issue neglects to get dealt with. 

A back-to-back relationship shows the person you’re with that the best version they fell in love with was the person you were while dating before marriage as you regress in character and commitment when it comes to improving the relationship. 

This type of relationship has settled. 

(3) A Face-to-Face Marriage

These people can’t get enough of their spouse when they stop to think about how grateful they should be. They are consistently pouring encouragement and question-asking into the person they promised their vows to. 

A face-to-face couple prioritizes date nights (no matter how old they are or how old the kids are). 

A face-to-face couple intentionally thinks, How can I thank them for making me a better person and what areas can I help assist them become a better person? 

This type of relationship is sacrificial. 

This type of ideal marriage doesn’t just appreciate the other with eyes of hearts since the euphoric feelings of romance are perpetual. But, even in times of disagreement and let down,  a face-to-face marriage doesn’t ignore each other in life, nor do they combat each other when there’s an argument. Instead, they remain face-to-face (not yelling), but continuing to work on the marriage to the point of love, unity and peace. 

Here are three pieces of advice to have a face-to-face marriage if you find yourself shoulder-to-shoulder or back-to-back. 

STEP ONE: Learn to enjoy being with one another more than you enjoy what you are doing apart from one another 

Choose the relationship over personal goals, work/task responsibilities and interests. Be aware of what you prioritize in your heart, schedule, excitement and dreams. 

STEP TWO: Learn how to quickly and gently put water on a relational fire (rather than gas). 

Choose humility, pray for patience, pursue forgiveness rather than grudge holding and anger. 

STEP THREE: Work intentionally at what cultural values you both want in the marriage while seeking the guidance of other godly married couples. 

Think about how Hollywood shows a couple sleeping in the same bed together. Those who sleep back-to-back are assumed to be arguing. Those who sleep shoulder-to-shoulder on their backs look fine when there could be so much more of an intimate, qualitative relationship. 

When we see a couple sleeping face-to-face, holding each other, that’s what people yearn for when it comes to the closest human relationship one can have (I’m not saying you should sleep face-to-face with your spouse, I’m saying how it looks on the big screen is a close and intimate and that’s how it should look daily while awake with your spouse). 

In your marriage, what is the issue you have been ignoring as you allow yourself to be distracted by your day (where are you shoulder-to-shoulder)? 

In your marriage, what is the issue you have been continually arguing over that needs to be dealt with, killed and buried (where are you back-to-back)? 

Finally, what married couples you know who have a face-to-face marriage and what can they teach you? Who are the couple with faith and joy and grace and abundant support and energy for the other? 

And by the way, where are you with Jesus? Are you mad at Him (back-to-back), disinterested in Him and very interested in you (shoulder-to-shoulder) or are you pursuing Jesus as earnestly as you can (face-to-face). 

Because we are His bride, He pursues (dates) us every day, and one day soon we will see Him face-to-face. 

Thanks for reading, you are so loved!

Z